Progressive Youth Ministry Conference: Day 1

Hey friends!

If you couldn’t tell from the windier tone, I’m writing you from Chicago, where I’m attending the Progressive Youth Ministry conference. To be more specific, I’m writing you from almost the end of the first day of the conference while digesting some of the most delicious smoked pork barbecue I have ever eaten. I know there was a reference to a holy smoker but I’m starting to believe God had a hand in this meal. Very hungry Very Hungry followers will be pleased and proud to know that I was actually called out while hovering over the dinner buffet questioning thirds. Thirds! Way to really live into the “economy of enough-ness”, Katie.

Anyway, with twenty minutes before the next session starts up I wanted to share that this kind of gathering is like a warm and wonderfully healing balm for anyone who has every been the last one picked or the clique and crowdless type. Not because there’s always someone wandering the halls to make sure inclusivity is alive and well but because being on your own is totally OK and allowed for. There do not seem to be any cooler kids or more popular lunch tables. We’re all (at least acting like) floaters. And still there is a great spirit of connectivity and lots of time provided to be with others in a way that fosters a little more than learning about where they are from or how big their church is or what they hope to get out of the next two days.

There is a large poster in the main hall that we are supposed to decorate our with our ideas of what “Progressive” actually means. I have no clue and am so overwhelmed by the question and the word. The only itch I get is that it definitely has something to do with this kind of crazy corrective community experience where there isn’t an out or an in. Where even if that can’t be the every day reality for our world and our selves, we can at the least find time and space (and Chicago is a great space to start!) to act as if it’s not. A time to just pretend and see what it would be like to know that we’re all actually “in.”

More tomorrow! Peace and deep dish pizza.


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